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Michiana sees spike in daily COVID-19 cases

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 5:56 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Health officials say they are starting to see higher numbers of daily COVID-19 cases than back in the spring when the first wave hit, and that it’s difficult for them to point to one particular reason for this.

As daily COVID-19 cases across Michiana continue to climb, local health officials say they are keeping a close eye on the data.

“My concern is that, psychologically, people have let their guard down a little bit. We can’t pinpoint any specific hotspots of exposure, which leads me to believe that it’s just kind of widespread across the county," St. Joseph County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox said.

“It is expected that we may see a bit of a surge in cases after restrictions have been loosened in Michigan and Indiana. We just want to make sure that that spike in cases doesn’t happen so quickly or suddenly that our hospital systems become overwhelmed," Berrien County Health Department Communications Manager Gillian Conrad said.

Conrad says that, as of now, Berrien County hospitals are not at capacity, whereas, Dr. Fox says St. Joseph County hospitals are.

“That should concern everyone in the county about their ability to get care for COVID or their ability to get care for other health conditions that might need attention in the coming weeks," Dr. Fox said.

“This upward trend of coronavirus cases that we’re experiencing could indicate a second wave or it could just mean that we are going to plateau at a new, higher rate of new cases every day," Conrad said.

Conrad says we won’t see a day with zero new cases until there is a vaccine, so it’s important to slow the spread in the meantime. From a public health standpoint, tighter restrictions and quarantine are tried-and-true ways of doing that.

“At this point in time, it’s really important that people are fighting through the COVID fatigue they might be experiencing and keep up with the preventative actions that we know will help mitigate this virus," Conrad said.

“We all ought to interact under the presumption that either we’re contagious or that someone else in that room is contagious," Dr. Fox said.

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